[TUHS] SunOS code?

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Sep 1 11:57:41 AEST 2018

On Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 07:02:36PM -0400, Arthur Krewat wrote:
> On 8/31/2018 5:58 PM, Larry McVoy wrote:
> >
> >Solaris was Sys Vr4 (which, if I recall correctly, differed from r3
> >largely due to some stuff being ported over from SunOS).  Both the kernel
> >and user space went to a Sys V compat system, it no longer felt anything
> >like BSD.
> >
> I would be very interested in anyone's recollections of how Solaris
> eventually turned out performance-wise, say version 9+, compared to other
> operating systems. SunOS, Linux, AIX, etc.

I did some updating of lmbench [*] when I was dancing with Netflix.  I
need to check that in and publish that because the bits have rotted
since 1995.  I have no idea if that will measure what you want, it's
a bunch of microbenchmarks that measure bandwidth and latency of 
everything I could think of: network, disks, file systems, caches,
memory, etc.  It's interesting but might not be so to you.

If you want to know if Solaris is at the same place as Linux, I can
pretty much promise it is not in the "getting out of the way of the
application".  Solaris was known as Slowaris for a reason.  Yeah, I
know it sucked harder in the beginning, but those were order of 
magnitude suckages.  Linus always cared about performance, he had
a big hand in lmbench, we both cared.

Linus was about performance like I am about code size.  I ran the
BitKeeper dev team for almost 20 years.  I loved a changeset that removed
more lines than it added.  We got up to about 120K lines of code in the
core and then we stayed there for the next decade, added so much more
stuff but always found a way to delete stuff so we didn't get bloated.

But all that said, you need to be specific about what perf you care 
about.  These days the kernel is far more complicated, NUMA etc, 
and you might care about parallel make (I doubt it) or you might care
about Oracle or something like that.


[*] http://mcvoy.com/lm/papers/lmbench-usenix.pdf

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